Botanical Extraction

How to Extract to Obtain the Highest Quality Concentrate

Written by Petar Petrov

People’s needs and tastes are probably as many as there are cannabis varieties and derived products. The various extraction methods and concentrates all have different advantages over each other, as well as different disadvantages altogether, making the cannabis scene even more eclectic and subjective.

Nevertheless, there are certain qualities that are universally coveted by any concentrate consumer – purity, potency, flexibility, and in many cases, a multi-dimensional profile that unlocks the entourage effect. And arguably one of the best ways to achieve them all is through creating live resin from CO2 extraction.

However, even if you happen to prefer a different path to perfection, you should always be guided by the goal to combine the best of different approaches and products and bypass their cons rather than staying fixed on a certain, single-dimensional route that can only get you so far.

CO2 Extraction Benefits

CO2 extraction most undeniable benefit is its pure, non-toxic nature. Even though final products are meant to be purified from any chemicals, not using them in the first place is always safer.

But CO2’s benefits don’t stop there. What is probably this extraction method’s strongest trait is its flexibility, meaning all the possibilities for isolating different compounds like CBC and CBT which other extraction methods can’t do. [1] This is because of its low “critical” point of compression at approximately 88°F which is below the deactivation of cannabinoids and terpenes, meaning that CO2 reaches the desired state before the cannabis compounds, allowing extractors to isolate them with much more precision and make all kinds of combinations that employ the entourage effect and possibly even come up with new strains altogether.

CO2 has another major advantage from a strictly industrial standpoint. Despite the fact that the equipment this method relies on costs $39,000[1], the good news is it can be adapted to making extracts with different consistencies – oil, shatter, budder or wax. Extractors just need to fine-tune the process: adjust the temperature, pressure, solvent-to-feed ratio and the flow [1], which is what extractors need to do if they want to achieve the best results, whatever that may mean in their particular case. They need to adapt.

Live Resin Benefits

Most extraction methods use dried and cured source cannabis material, which many consider to be a downside by defaultbecause it damages terpenes’ state and vigor. [2]But this is precisely what constitutes live resin’s defining advantage – the cannabis plant is frozen right after harvest and kept frozen throughout the entire extraction process, keeping the source material’s terpene profile intact.

CO2 Live Resin

What makes CO2 extraction and live resin such a winning combination is that the latter’s main advantage practically nullifies the former’s main disadvantage. [3]CO2’s disadvantage is the large amount of time it takes to remove unwanted fats as it results in collateral damage on the cannabinoid and terpenoid profile of the extracts. But it doesn’t matter how long the process is if the source material is kept frozen.

Then again, if you happen to believe there’s a way to achieve better concentrates, who’s to say you’re wrong? What matters is that you thoroughly analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the extraction method and the source material, as well as the particular needs your concentrate is meant to serve, and then find solution that intersects the most advantages and the least amountof disadvantages. This is always a winning strategy.



About the author

Petar Petrov

Petar is a freelance writer and copywriter, covering culture, art, society, and anything in-between that makes for a nice story. And as it so happens, cannabis is a great element to add to each of those conversations.